Just Emergencies Episode 8: Covid-19 & Undocumented Migrant Communities. Vulnerability Part 2 with Josephine Greenbrook

Covid-19 Statue of Liberty

For Episode 8 of Just Emergencies: Covid-19 & Undocumented Migrant CommunitiesJosephine Greenbrook (twitter:@medicalhumanist) discusses how undocumented migrants and asylum seekers are affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

“We see that undocumented migrants […] are actually working in a lot of the fields that are still considered essential. […] So they’re essentially still necessary and they will be employing these people on the black market. And yet, these people are also essentially unprotected in every way.”

In the second instalment of our Vulnerability Series, Josephine explains how undocumented migrants and asylum seekers are made vulnerable by the societal structures and institutions in which they live. She highlights the importance of approaching the idea of vulnerability in a nuanced and careful way – simply labelling these groups as ‘vulnerable’ ignores the heterogeneity of circumstances and contexts within and between these communities.

Moreover, she discusses what pandemic responses need to do and consider in order to account for the range of vulnerabilities migrants – from women, to children, to undocumented workers – face, in order to make sure that they’re better protected and supported in the future.

To find out more, listen to the full episode and read the transcript.

Links and Further Resources

Meg Black, ‘UN Stresses Urgent Need to Protect Refugees During Covid-19 Crisis‘, (Global Citizen, 11 May 2020).

Alfredo Corchado, ‘A Former Farmworker on American Hypocrisy‘, New York Times (6 May, 2020).

Nasar Meer, ‘How Covid is being used to stop lone child refugees joining family in UK‘, The Scotsman (4 May 2020).

Michael Savage, ‘Give refugees temporary leave to remain during Covid-19 crisis‘, The Guardian (3 May 2020).


‘Just Emergencies’ is produced and edited by Rebecca Richards and made with funding from the Wellcome Trust.

Our intro song is ‘The sun comes up, I come down’ by Silicon Transmitter.

Our outro song is ‘Surge and Swell’ by Pictures of the Floating World.

Both are available under an Attribution-Noncommerical-ShareAlike3.0 Creative Commons License from Free Music Archive.

Image by Jon Tyson on Unsplash.